June 18, 2013

Taiwan’s Tranquil and Stony Beach Heaven

We weren’t looking to release the stress from the busy city life or from traveling as most people expect to when visiting Hualien, Taiwan.

On the contrary, we almost accidentally chose to stop in Hualien as our last stop of the Taiwan’s trip before heading back to Taipei. In fact, not knowing much about the best places to visit in the country, we followed what the locals suggested to us and made the right decision.

Once again, my happiest memories are due to the great time we spent with our Couchsurfing host in Hualien and also because it was the first time we met with our now fellow travel buddies and bloggers, Tony and Steph of the picture-perfect Twenty Years Hence, who coincidentally and entirely by accident were also staying with the host as us at the very same time.

Couchsurfing with 20 Yeras Hence in Hualien, TaiwanUs with our CS host Dai Dai, Tony & Steph

There also is a very special place that will always put a smile on my face when thinking about Hualien: the Qixingtan Beach.

Star Watching Square at Qixingtan Beach - Hualien, Taiwan
Qixingtan Beach - Hualien, Taiwan

This amazing part of the Taiwanese coast is simply stunning and not only for its coastal scenery with the mountain in the distance and the ocean right at your feet, but also for the many pebbles and rocks that make a nice change to the usual sandy beaches we are used to.

I loved how the waves crashed against the pebbles making them move and the noise they made whilst settling in a different arrangement.

Waves at Qixingtan Beach - Hualien, Taiwan

I loved the different shade of the sea water looking dark in the distance and light and clear before the waves reached the beach.

Sea at the HUalien beach

I loved the cool breeze and the warm sunlight at dusk changing the colour of the sky and making weird shades.

Playing UNO at the beach

I loved the smell of the sea so familiar to me , bringing back memories of my teenage years spent at the beach near my South Italian hometown.

We both aren’t really beach people, I mean we love going to the beach, enjoying the view, maybe going for a quick swim, but only for 15/20 minutes. As soon as we hit that 20 minute mark we feel like we need to keep going instead of stopping motionless sunbathing.

This beach definitely treated us differently, in fact, we returned there twice, two days in a row after our daily activities. There were people (mainly locals fishing or walking) but it wasn’t crowded maybe because of the luck of touristy activities and because it isn’t possible to swim due to the strong currents, it all worked well for us giving a sense of privacy even if we were in an open public space and not alone.

Pebbles at the Taiwan's Tranquil and Stony Beach
Fishing at Qixingtan Beach in Hualien, Taiwan

We sat down watching the sea after a walk around and tested the water temperature by stepping into it but it was a little too cold. We instead played UNO and felt so comfortable that we completely lost track of the time, we only realized it was time to catch the bus back when it became dark.

Dale throwing pebbles at the Taiwan's Tranquil and Stony Beach
UNO cards at the Taiwan's Tranquil and Stony Beach

We could have rented a bike to explore the wider area, but we chose against it because all we really wanted was to enjoy that place in that moment. Its atmosphere was quite magical and not because of its amazing scenery, but because of how it made us feel.

Even if we weren’t particularly looking to relax, we ended up doing it in a very natural and unexpected way.

Dale playing with pebbles on Qixingtan Beach in Hualien, Taiwan
Franca lying on Qixingtan Beach in Hualien, Taiwan

We of course recommend to stop by to Qixingtan Beach if you get the chance and you are in the area, no matter if it’s a sunny day or not, it can be quite nice even when is misty.

Are you a beach person or do you chose different destinations while traveling?


Tags:  beach Hualien Qixingtan Taiwan

Franca
Franca Calabretta
Franca, an Italian female who, after having dreamed about travelling for years, has finally left her job, comfort zone and sold everything she owned to set off on the journey of a life time. Since June 2012, Franca has been travelling full-time in search of the best Architecture, Art, Design & Music the world has to offer, sharing everything she finds along with her partner & co-blogger, Dale Davies




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36 Comments

Jun 18, 2013

I am positive that the biggest reason we love Taiwan so much is because of all the amazing people we were so fortunate to connect with while we were there, and of course you & Dale are at the very top of the list. Tony & I both feel so lucky that life threw the four of us together, and whenever I think of those nights we stayed up late chatting in whispers in the living room, trying so hard not to laugh, it brings a big smile to my face. Hualien was a very special place, indeed!
Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted…Sunday Sketchup: Missing the Dogs EditionMy Profile

    Franca

    Jun 18, 2013

    You’re right Steph, Hualien will always have a special place in our hearts not only for the stunning beach we enjoyed so much, but also because of the people we met. We must stalk you again and soon. Hang on, it’s your turn now. :)


Jun 18, 2013

This was such a timely post for me, just few days ago we were discussing where to head early next year while I still be on maternity leave (considering that the new arrival will be healthy etc), and Taiwan is one of the destinations we’re hoping to visit. It’s going to be more for white water kayaking, but for sure we would leave time to explore other areas too. I love these kind of places where you end up due to locals’ recommendations, and even though I’m in the “non beach person” category, I do love short visits to the beach. As long as I don’t have to soak the sun in for hours and hours on the sand…
Satu VW recently posted…Camping with a Toddler: First ImpressionsMy Profile

    Franca

    Jun 18, 2013

    Taiwan is a very nice country to visit and this beach in Hualien left a special sign on us both even though we are not beach people. It’s great for kids too, it’s nice to take them cycling.


Jun 18, 2013

I was never a beach person until moving to Spain, though it’s now become my place to escape and get some balance and disconnect! Looks lovely!
Cat of Sunshine and Siestas recently posted…Shooting My First Wedding: Andrea y CarlosMy Profile

    Franca

    Jun 18, 2013

    For me was quite the opposite, I used to love going to the beach and play with friends all day long. Now it seems like I changed my mind.. Maybe I need to move to Spain to get back to my old habits ;)


Jun 18, 2013

We love Hualien, and of course Qixingtan Beach, too :-) We have quite the enormous collection of stones from the beach that we’ll have to be parting with in just a few weeks. That’s too awesome that you happened to be couchsurfing with Steph and Tony-I really wish we would have known about all you awesome travel bloggers visiting our neck of the woods so we could have met up and traveled together!
Casey-A Cruising Couple recently posted…Dear LifeMy Profile

    Franca

    Jun 18, 2013

    We have two pebbles too from that beach, one each and they are still in our backpacks. Meeting Tony & Steph was a lovely surprise and completely unplanned too. Shame we didn’t get to meet you guys, it means we have to make it happen at some point ;)


Jun 18, 2013

I love stony beaches. This looks incredibly beautiful!
wanderingeducators recently posted…China’s Orphans: Making a Difference through Advocacy and FosteringMy Profile


Jun 19, 2013

The beach is so nice. It reminds me a lot of Hong Kong island – quiet, peaceful and cozy. Glad you had a great time. I feel like I need a beach time right now. Might go to the swimming pool this weekend :)
Agness recently posted…Travel Update: Life in China and Plans for SummerMy Profile

    Franca

    Jun 19, 2013

    Good idea Agness, it’s important to find the time to relax especially while working so hard like you do. ;)


Jun 19, 2013

I’m not much of a beach person either but every once in a while…

Looks like y’all are having fun tho. My only trip to Taiwan was too short…no beach time for me unfortunately.

So where are y’all headed after Taiwan? I’m backpacking thru Asia right now too. Too busy having fun tho, so far behind on my writing :(
Derek recently posted…First Impressions & Basic Info: IndonesiaMy Profile

    Franca

    Jun 19, 2013

    We spent a month in Taiwan traveling around the country, it was nice indeed. We are in Italy right now trying to decide where to go next, there are so many places we want to see that is pretty tough to choose.
    We all have to write and keep our blogs up to date, don’t forget to enjoy your time while traveling though ;)


Jun 19, 2013

This looks like a beautiful spot! I love the fact that you found it by getting recommendations from the locals–these are often the best places.

    Franca

    Jun 19, 2013

    Larissa I couldn’t agree with you more, the recommendations from the locals are very precious and almost every time they worked out for the best for us. Have you been to Hualien?


Jun 19, 2013

This is my first visit to your blog I think.

Awesome beard you have there!!! :o)

Elle xx
Elle Draper recently posted…Spanish Cruise HoppingMy Profile


Jun 19, 2013

What a beautiful beach! One of my favorite things about Taiwan (and Hong Kong as well) was how much largely unspoiled nature there was to be found.
Micki recently posted…7 Things To Do in Bugibba, MaltaMy Profile

    Franca

    Jun 19, 2013

    If Hong Kong is similar to Taiwan in that respect we must go, I’ve heard pretty good things about HK. Have you been to Hualien?


Jun 20, 2013

That’s a side of Taiwan that I never imagined–thanks for sharing!
Sandra Foyt recently posted…Waterfalls on the Indian Ladder TrailMy Profile

    Franca

    Jun 20, 2013

    Thanks for stopping by Sandra. Taiwan is a beautiful country and has surprised us too with its hidden spots. Have you been to Taiwan before?


Jun 20, 2013

Not a beach person?! Wow, can’t even fathom that :) I love beaches!
Travelogged recently posted…The Bay’s Best Bites and Sips: Dining and Drinking Like a San Francisco LocalMy Profile

    Franca

    Jun 20, 2013

    In this case you’d have loved this Taiwanese beach, it was kind of different from the usual beaches but so enjoyable! If you’ve never been to Taiwan before or if you are planning a trip over there at some point, you should stop by Qixingtan Beach, you won’t regret it ;)


Jun 20, 2013

Aww, that beach reminds me of the many pebble beaches in the UK. Don’t think you get the drunks and arcades in Taiwan though. I like beaches, but can never spend more than a day on one. I get too restless and bored. This one does look very pretty though.
TammyOnTheMove recently posted…3 quirky things to do in BerlinMy Profile

    Franca

    Jun 20, 2013

    I know Tammy, we are kind of the same when it’s to do with beaches. We cannot stay longer than a couple of hours in fact. This one in Taiwan though was quite different and made us feel relaxed and comfy, for that reason alone we loved it!


Jun 20, 2013

That’s really cool that you met Steph and Tony. I love how anywhere you go there is virtually always another travel blogger around to meet up with.
Kate @30Traveler recently posted…Bike Friendly Airports – 7 Essential ElementsMy Profile

    Franca

    Jun 24, 2013

    Yes, we were pretty lucky to meet Steph & Tony, it was the first time we met other travel bloggers. We’d like to think that meeting started a long & nice friendship between us four, traveling is also that :)


Jun 20, 2013

Fun post! I’ve killed a lot of time playing Uno, too. :)
Jennifer recently posted…Sprecher Brewing Company TourMy Profile

    Franca

    Jun 20, 2013

    Thanks Jennifer! We find playing UNO relaxing until we both get competitive and we have only one goal: WIN! :)


Jun 21, 2013

I’m a big fan of quiet deserted beaches. I grew up on an island surrounded by unswimable beaches and I used to love walking the coastline. It was so peaceful. I’m glad you found your piece of heaven outside of the big city.
Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted…Darwin’s Paradise: Galapagos Islands Animals, Ecotourism & AdventureMy Profile

    Franca

    Jun 24, 2013

    Thanks Mary! We are glad we did too, such a lovely surprise especially for us that aren’t really beach people, but that one just made us feel so relaxed and good, loved it :)


Jun 22, 2013

I’m totally a beach person and it plays a big part in where I travel. I don’t like pebble beaches though… only soft sand. I’m busting to go to Taiwan but for the food… not the beaches. :)
Bethaney – Flashpacker Family recently posted…Sydney Harbour YHA @YHA_AustraliaMy Profile

    Franca

    Jun 22, 2013

    Hi Bethaney, the Taiwanese food was good too!
    Anyway, there are sandy beaches too in Taiwan so I’m sure you won’t be disappointed ;) Where are you planning on going?


Jun 25, 2013

wow. we love the pics. my son orazi and i are looking and we love the uno shots and the rocks in a karyn and on your leg and everywhere. so you are enjoying the beach. good, enjoy that which you souls knows well. gabi
Gabi (The Nomadic Family) recently posted…What a Year Three Traveler Thinks About in the Middle of the Night- PhilippinesMy Profile

    Franca

    Jun 25, 2013

    Thank you Gabi and Orazi! It was a very special day on a special beach :) If you like playing UNO too we should organize a tournament one day ;)



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